Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Great Bubbly from Where??

The first time we met these two guys at a wine trade event in Ohio, we thought they were a little wacky. They were pouring bubbly for anyone they could drag over to their booth, and their bubbly was made in...New Mexico! But their story was good, and their sparkling wine was even better. Since then Gruet has been our favorite domestic sparkler, and the one we now recommend to everyone we can drag in.
Their story goes something like this: they studied winemaking in world-famous Burgundy, and then came back to the U.S. to discover that the climate and soil in one area of New Mexico was eerily similar to France. It needs the elevation, of course, to cool the temperatures, but the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes they grew for their bubbly were world class.
But of course, the wine world told these guys they were nuts. They got no support from anyone, but set out to prove themselves and their wine. And in true Rocky Balboa, American Underdog tradition, they beat the big guys and carved out a niche in the domestic sparkler market.
So the next time you feel like drinking some bubbly, please give Gruet a try. It makes a tremendous aperitif (try it with some Boursin cheese and Smoked Salmon on a crostini), or as a solo sipper. Here's what I recommend:
Gruet Blanc de Noir -- Crisp and clean, with an undertone of delicate strawberry fruit (my favorite)
Gruet Brut -- Very clean and snappy, with a citrus-y undertone
Gruet Demi-Sec -- Semi-sweet but not sugary, for those who can't handle dry wines.
Give them a try, and please leave a comment to let us know what you think!